So what do you do first? When working with social media influencers, deciding which platform you like the best for your brand is critical.
There are a few different types of social media platforms that are important to consider when choosing your social media influencer. Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Snapchat, and YouTube are platforms a social media influencer might use.
A Cheat Sheet For Working With Influencers
Before you get started, make sure that you:
- Define your goal – Outline what you are hoping to achieve by working with influencers, both monetarily and regarding your brand awareness.
- Define your performance metrics – Make sure you know how you’re going to be tracking the success of your influencer. Will it be through impressions, reach, or click-throughs, etc.?
By nailing down these aspects of your business plan before getting started, you’ll properly position your business to work with a social media influencer.
Now let’s dive in…
5 Way to Work with Social Media Influencers
There are several ways to approach working with a social media influencer. Consider your goals before picking an approach that works best for you. By doing this, you’ll have a clearer picture of how to build a lucrative business relationship with him or her.
1. Sponsored Posts
Many brands prefer to sponsor posts as it is an easy way for them to work with influencers. In essence, sponsoring posts is when the social media influencer is paid to create content that’s connected to your brand.
This approach works especially well with Instagram and clothing promotions. Your influencer can take a picture wearing the clothes, just like an online stylist, and then credit your company with the look. Pretty easy, right?
2. Branded Content
This is original content a social media influencer creates and distributes on your behalf. Check out the video below for a nice example of how Sprint used a group of social media influencers to create one main piece of content they all can share on their social networks. Nice play, Sprint.
3. Product Lines
Here you work with your influencer to create something new. For this one to work, you need to find relevant social media influencers that appeal to a specific niche with a large following. The influencer will create a product on your behalf
This can be the most difficult business model to work with, so tread carefully before deciding if it’s right for you.
Inviting social media influencers to events is a great way to get them involved and spread the word about your brand.
A perfect time for using influencers like this is if you’re launching a new product.
A great example of this is Princess Cruises. They invite influencers to sample a cruise and then share their experience.
They help to make the experience look fun, glamorous, and exciting for your brand. Just like Vandifair is doing for Princess Cruises.
5. Brand Ambassador Programs
These programs work best with micro-influencers and everyday consumers better than big names. They will get their own affiliate link that they will share with their audience. The affiliate link is trackable and makes it easy for you to measure the successful your ambassador.
Kendall Jenner is an ambassador of ippolita jewelry. The brand uses her huge scope of influence to get the attention it wanted and issued her a tracking link to measure the campaign’s success.
Now that you read about the various approaches to working with social media influencers, you need to define the parameters of your best influencer.
Define Your Influencers Parameters
The three things to consider when defining your influencers are the audience, reach, and context.
The best thing for you to do before getting started with an influencer is to define your own audience. Just because an influencer has a large following doesn’t mean it will be a good fit for your brand. Make sure that you work with influencers who are reaching the target audience and so they’ll put your offering in front of the right people.
You’ll want to make sure that your influencer has a big enough reach to benefit your product. You can check through all of their social media channels to find out how many followers they have, and you can also check out Klout to discover what their influence score is.
Reach and audience size isn’t enough to determine a good fit with an influencer, you also need to have a contextual fit. Having a good fit will ensure that your brand flows seamlessly into theirs and doesn’t feel disjointed and forced.
Finding an influencer with content that is aligned with your brand will make sure that you have the best possible outcome.
Now let start our search…
Find Your Influencers
There are a few great websites that can help you find your ideal social media influencer. These can give you the lift you need to get started.
Buzzsumo is a great search engine to find influencers based on topic and location. They have the option of filtering out based on their reach, authority, influence, and engagement when looking for the perfect influencer.
This site also lets you keep track of the content your chosen influencer is sharing on a super handy spreadsheet.
Followerwonk is perfect if you’re looking to use a twitter influencer to promote your brand. This site allows you to search and analyze your competition’s followers which will help you decide which influencers are worth using.
Followerwonk also allows you to search the Twitter bios of individuals and get a deep analysis of their account. This provides great information about who they follow and can determine if they are reaching the right audience.
Little Bird is a great way to weed out potential influencers based on how validated they are by their peers. You can analyze their connections and discover how you, your influencer, and your audience are connected by certain topics.
You’ll be able to find the perfect influencer after searching through thousands of potentials based on who matches with you.
Search On Your Own
Let’s say you’re a healthy food blogger looking for an influencer on Instagram. How do you start?
First search out #healthyeats. You’ll get lots of people who are interested in the same things you are.
Pick an Instagrammer you like.
Click on their profile.
Click the three dots … and start your message.
Reach Out To Influencers
How you reach out to your influencer may change based on what social media outlet they use. However, the basics are all the same.
1. Make sure that you have great content on your blog
- Your influencer should know right away what your brand is about and why you would work well together
2. Start the relationship
- This part may take time. Become their follower first, link their material to your blog when possible. When they check their backlinks, your name will start to pop up and draw their attention
- Use Twitter to your advantage. You can quickly send them a tweet about why you like their content or retweet their original message.
- These will all put you on their radar and put you in a better position for them to want to help you.
3. Pitch the Relationship
- Keep it simple and to the point. These people can get thousands of pitches so they may not have time for a long email. Focus on what you’re looking for from them.
What to say to your influencer?
This is a great template for getting a quote from them for your blog. This can be a great way to get started officially working together.
Subject Line: Quick Quote for (insert business).
Hello (insert influencer)
We’re writing a blog post about (insert subject of blog).
As a (insert compliment, this is the reason you’re contacting them to begin with) expert we’d love to get your views on (insert subject of blog).
If you could please send on a short quote we’d really appreciate it.
When you’re ready for more than just quotes, this is an awesome template to get you started.
My name is [your name] from [company]. I really enjoy your [relevant content] and am impressed by how well you’ve done with [their company name].
I’m reaching out to you because I have a [product or business] that I think your audience would appreciate. Would you be willing to review [product or business] on your social media page? I would also be interested in featuring your company on my business page.
Please let me know if this is something that you’re interested in.
Thanks for your time,
Track Your Campaign
It will be important to keep an eye on your campaign to see how well it’s doing. Watch closely to see how well they’re promoting your brand.
Using a site like Simply Measured Content Share Tracking can make it easy to see results. This site uses graphs to give you a clear picture of how well your influencer is doing.
If you don’t see your desired results, you can adjust your campaign to make it more effective. This may mean not working with your selected influencer anymore, and that’s okay. This is your opportunity to find someone who will work with you better and yield the best results.
Working with influencers can be a great boost to your digital brand if done the right way. Before starting, make sure to know who you are and what you’re looking for. Find influencers that match your dynamic. Reach out to them and get a transaction going. Always monitor how your marketing is doing, never just let it go and see how it does. With these tips, you’re well on your way to digital branding success.
Do you think influencer marketing is the NEW marketing? I would love to know your thoughts…